Robert Parsons (composer)

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Robert Parsons (ca. 1535 – January 1571/2) was an English composer.

Although little is known about the life of Robert Parsons, it is likely that in his youth he was a choir boy, as until 1561 he was an assistant to Richard Bower, Master of the Children Choristers of the Chapel Royal.

Parsons was appointed Gentleman of the Chapel Royal on 17 October 1563. His work consisted of a number of sacred and secular vocal compositions, including his Ave Maria, as well as some instrumental pieces. Eight of these works were included in the music manuscript known as the Dow Partbooks. He is believed to have died in January 1571/2 when he fell into the then swollen River Trent and was drowned. He may have been a teacher of, or at least an influence on, William Byrd at Lincoln Cathedral. Byrd succeeded him as Gentleman of the Chapel Royal.


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